Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Collective Haul

First off- apologies for the shoddy picture quality. This is what happens when you haven't blogged properly in months and good habits are forgotten (don't even get me started on the amount of new products I've forgotten to take pictures of before I've used them)!

I came across this picture on my phone and thought I'd give a little run down of what I bought on a recent (ish) shopping trip. The top, skirt and necklace were what I wore on my birthday night out and I absolutely love them. A-line skirts are an absolute favourite right now. I think they're a really good shape on me; so much so that I've since bought this  same skirt in khaki. It was actually my mum who pointed out this necklace in Primark after me going on about how much I needed statement necklaces (after watching so much Gossip Girl). Compared to the ones I had been looking at in H&M which were all well over £10, this was a bargain and its really pretty. I always fear that Primark jewellery will break within one wear but this necklace has held up well as I've now worn it a few times. 

I also picked up some holiday bits. You can't go wrong with the sunglasses in Primark for £1 or £2: I buy a few pairs each year; they're cute and it doesn't matter if they break. These sandals were only around £4 and I wore them every single night on holiday- well worth it. As for beauty things from Superdrug I bought nail polish remover as a means of preventing myself biting polish off, Vitamin E Superbalm for cuticles and lips and Eyelure 101's- my favourite going out lashes. 
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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Superdrug Skincare Picks

When I first started blogging, I used to be amazed when I read other people writing 'I liked the look of this so I thought I'd buy it and give it a try'. I was a lot younger then and with my pocket money I could only buy the odd hyped product now and again after much careful consideration. Its been almost 2 years since I started my part time job and it means that every now and again I can treat myself to the bits and bobs in Superdrug that I just like the look of. 

I was always a Boots loyal when it came to feeding my beauty product addiction but over the past year I feel like Superdrug has really upped its game. There always seems to be promotions on and however sad it may sound, I think its so fun to go in and fill my basket. 

Today I'd like to mention a few skincare gems I've been using from Superdrug, all really reasonably priced and they all land top marks in my book.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
You can find my full review here in which I absolutely raved about this product and said that I actually preferred it to the original micellar water Bioderma. The only issues I raised were its impracticability for travelling and that you couldn't remove the cap. Well, they've only went and fixed exactly those problems! The new 400ml design has a easily removable cap and the mini size is the cutest thing I ever did see. I always buy a few of the big bottles at once when they're 1/3 off in Superdrug as its the only makeup remover I use.

I thought I'd throw this in as I was recommended it and decided to pick it up in the hope it'd improve the appearance of my scars. I have noticed a slight improvement to scars on my leg with sporadic use but I think for it to really work you need to use it consistently and for a good few months. Have any of you tried it and has it worked well for you?

Vitamin E Eye Cream
I think Superdrug's Vitamin E brand is underrated. They have lots of different skincare items in their range (wipes, masks, body oil) and since its 'own brand' is is very reasonably priced. The skin around my eyes became really dry during winter and I needed a simple eye cream that would moisturise the skin without irritating my sensitive eyes. This worked wonders. It feels light, refreshing and absorbs really quickly. I also have the SuperBalm from the Vitamin E range and I've really been enjoying that too.

Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturiser
This is a classic that I've been using for years. I go between this and the Rich Moisturiser, sometimes mixing the two at once. This is excellent for sensitive skin and absorbs really quickly. I really like the fresh smell of Simple products (I also use their cleanser and toner). I buy this when its on 3 for 2 and always forget that I have like 6 bottles in my cupboard!

Superdrug's Own Brand 'Destressing' and 'Refreshing' Face Masks
I vaguely remember reading a review of one of these ages ago and when I saw that they were 2 for £3.50 I thought I'd pick them up for pamper nights. I've never used a peel-off mask before and its been quite an usual experience. The first time when I was taking it off I felt like a creature out of Doctor Who taking off my flesh (although I didn't really of course) and the next time I didn't put enough on so it came off in tiny bits. The mud mask is more of what I'm used to- put the mask on, leave it for 10 minutes and then wash off to a refreshed complexion. I think for the amount of product you get these are really good value and are all I'm really looking for from a face mask. Word to the wise though- be sure to stick to the directed time- I left one of these on for more than half an hour and came downstairs to horrified looks from my family: 'wtf happened to your face?!' 'why's it so red and blotchy?' thankfully it went back to normal quickly. 

The best thing about all these products is that they are all very affordable, keep problem skin at bay and don't irritate it (with the exception of the face mask faux pas which was entirely my own fault). 

What are your top Superdrug skincare picks?
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Friday, 31 July 2015

Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation

My skin hasn't been as clear as it is at the moment since before the hormones kicked in like 5 years ago. It has been getting better gradually over the last year because of a combination of things: drinking more water, seeing the doctor, improving my skincare routine etc but the cherry on the cake of late has been swapping my Rimmel foundation for Bare Minerals.

I always had the belief that good skin mostly came from the inside and therefore gave little thought to what makeup I used and how it might be adversely affecting it. I bought the Bare Mineral's Get Stared Complexion Kit on somewhat of a whim when I was in Brighton. I had wanted to try it for a good while and there's no better time to treat yourself than when you're away. I was colour matched to Fairly Light which the girl said was just between my own skin colour and the colour of my current foundation. The foundation itself was £26 and the kit was £34 since there was a promotion on in Debenhams so there was no question- getting 5 extra products for an extra £9 wasn't something I was going to turn down. 

In the kit you get: Prime Time Foundation Primer, Original SPF 15 Foundation, Matte SPF 15 Foundation, Warmth All-Over Face Color, Mineral Veil Finishing Powder and the Face Brush for application. I haven't yet given each one of these a proper test run although when I did try them I found that with the bronzer, less is definitely more. I plan to write a more detailed review of the primer alongside some others I've been trying lately.

The Original Foundation is the star of the kit. I didn't think I would ever consider using a powder foundation because it just seems like it wouldn't offer any coverage but I was completely wrong. After applying primer and concealer, I tap about half a pea size amount of product into the lid, swirl and tap the brush and then buff it into my skin. The girl at the counter explained this to me but there are also videos on the Bare Minerals website which demonstrate. It doesn't need blended and is invisible on the skin but provides good coverage. What's more, because its mineral, it allows the skin to breathe which in my opinion is the reason my skin is so great at the moment. I then use Rimmel Powder over the top- out of habit more than anything. It lasts a good few hours but definitely needs a primer and setting to see it through the whole day (especially if you're out and about/ working). As a powder, this is very buildable and you can just apply until you're happy with the amount of coverage. On a day to day basis, 1/2 layers is enough for me- especially since my skin is improving so rapidly with use.

Admittedly, this foundation does cost a lot more than my Rimmel Lasting Finish which I've used for years. While I'll still be keeping a bottle of that to hand, Bare Minerals is well worth the price. Not only does it work well as a foundation, it actually improves the skin. I only wish I'd started using it sooner.
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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Adventures in Brighton

This year for our family summer holiday we decided to stay in the UK and spend the week in Brighton. It was absolutely amazing! And what made it even better was that my cousin who lives in New Zealand who I haven't seen in years came too- yay! We stayed in the Queens Hotel which was really lovely. The building was quite old but our room was enormous and most importantly, they replaced the biscuits and mini toiletries everyday (my family and I would give Ross Geller a run for his money when it comes to hotel freebies). I laid out all my makeup and brushes on my bedside cabinet- it was so nice to look at and very insta-worthy but I wouldn't have it at home as it would be a nightmare to clean. The hotel also had a lovely breakfast buffet and bistro/bar where we had tasty cocktails.

Brighton honestly has so much to offer. I don't know if its just because so many bloggers and youtubers go on about it but my excitement for visiting was so real and it didn't disappoint at all. It was as hot as when I visited Lisbon last year too because of the heat wave. Brighton scores top points from me with regard to food, shops, friendliness and general photo-worthiness. My favourite place to eat was an Italian restaurant not far behind our hotel called Al Duomo which had delicious food and reasonable prices. The selection of restaurants was amazing so the fact we went to Al Duomo twice for dinner shows just how great it was. Other tasty treats worth noting were MooMoo's oreo milkshake on the pier and Angel Food Bakery's strawberry and cream cupcake.

I done a heck of a lot of shopping too. Is it just me or is there something very enabling about shopping on holiday? I have an 'oh I'm on holiday I'll just spend £19 on a makeup brush' kind of mindset. Lush, as per usual, didn't disappoint. The lovely woman who worked there was telling us about their current campaign #gayisok, part of which was to share a picture online with their new 'Love' soap which is gold, glittery and gorgeous. The lanes were so interesting though quite hard to navigate. There are so many cute little shops selling jewellery, crafts, antiques, homeware, books, clothes, makeup and more. I saw a shop called 'Ju-Ju' which interested me immensely because that's what my family call me. Also- Sammi from BeautyCrush walked by me! Its the weirdest experience seeing someone from YT in real life because you feel like you know them, but they don't know you. 

On Wednesday we also went through to Eastbourne and the 14 year old inside me was squealing because that's where 'Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging' was filmed and I used to watch that film every night. We also went to the Toy and Model Museum close to the station- my family and I love that sort of thing.

Overall it was one of my favourite holidays ever- I can see what all the fuss is about now. If you get the chance to visit you should- its such an interesting place. I definitely want to go back.
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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Hello Again!

I've been finished my exams for a whole month and I haven't written one single blog post- I've been too busy chilling out and turning into a sloth watching endless TV shows on my laptop. So far I've watched 5 seasons of Gossip Girl (I LOVE!), rewatched Doctor Who and watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time. I think I'm pretty much guaranteed to have square eyes by the time I'm 30 with the amount of time I spend on my laptop.

Anyway, as always, to launch back into blogging, I've put together a little updatey collage of my last few months. My blogging lapses have become so regular since I started back in 2012 that they're routine now: I blog away all summer when I have free time, get together a few posts over Christmas when I'm off and a random post or two through the year if I'm lucky. With how focused I am with studying you'd think I could apply that to blogging, exercise and other parts of life but nope- I'm lazy when it comes to everything else!
my lecturer wore these leggings one day #absoluteawe | what I'm like in uni | jk what I'm actually like in uni | I've become obsessed with Eastenders again this year- my long lost soap love | lush baths! | maoam pinballs = fave | new bikini for holiday | me arriving at the beach this year ahaha (this pic gets me every single time)  
my uni is pretty | strawberry daiquiri mmm | exploring the library | chinese takeaway= life's special moments | my laptop broke for a few days in May & it was a very, very real struggle | brunch in TriBeCa- if you've never ate here you must- immediately | my new lamb onesie is soo cosy | cheesecake (insert heart eye emoji) | going for a catch up with girls a few nights ago

Now that we're all up to speed I'd just like to say a quick thank you to everyone for sticking around even though my posting is so inconsistent. I've got heaps of post ideas for the coming months and I'm so excited to be back!  
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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Third Blogiversary!!

Happy Sunday everyone! Finding myself between extremes; my first blog anniversary (biggest deal ever- here and here) and last year's celebration (non-existent), I thought I'd write a little post to mark the fact that this week Julz' Obsessions is three years old. I can't believe how quick it has gone. Although I'm notoriously sporadic, and disappear for sometimes months on end, I always find my way back to writing blog posts and re-finding love for the blogging community and the creativity that comes with it. Of all the things that I've done and all the things that have changed in my life (delving into soppy territory here), this blog has remained constant. I would say 'I hope I'll still be blogging next year' but I know that all being well I will be. And of course I'd like to thank you all for all your support, whether it be commenting on posts, clicking the follow button or just chatting away on twitter. It is the most lovely aspect of blogging! 
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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Stationary Galore

One of the (few) pros of starting a new semester after indulging in free time, festivities and general relaxation is getting your stationary organised. I've had a thing for stationary ever since I can remember- picture me circa 2001 hanging around my Auntie's office hoping to blag some post it pads and paperclips. I buy and buy notebooks like they're going out of fashion. My favourite places to get my stationary are Wilkinson, Tiger and Paperchase (mostly when they're having a sale). I think this semester I'll stick to pretty much what I done last- write notes on cheap notebooks/ scrap paper in lectures, rewrite them out neatly later and put them in a subject folder to refer back to when revising. It often surprises me how much I have lying around my house that I've forgotten about. I searched for so long for a pencil case that was pretty, inexpensive and practical and couldn't see one I liked anywhere. I found this Ted Baker makeup bag from one of last Christmas gift sets and its perfect! I love the little tab post its in different colours- those came in really handy navigating a 3000 page book. My favourite pens to use are the basic BIC ballpoints because they don't smudge- I don't actually know why I continue to carry around the inky ones. I kind of just like having a full pencil case. Side note: a definite perk of uni compared to school is that no one asks to borrow a pen. That used to drive me insane- why do people keep them?! or worse... chew and dribble on them... ew. 

Are you loopy about stationary? Please say I'm not the only one.
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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

15 Things I've Learned In My First Semester

I've just completed my first semester of first year in university and I thought I'd share some snippets of the many experiences I've had/ things I've learned. I'm living at home so my experiences are probably quite different to many of yours. I'd love to hear if you can relate to any. Please note this is pretty tongue-in-cheek and I did actually also learn academic things- ish. 

1. You need to take out a mortgage to buy books.
2. Lecturers are bonkers. 
3. Its nowhere near as difficult as I expected to make new friends.
4. Bring your own toilet paper if you visit halls.
5. You never feel on top of anything. Ever.
6. The people who say 'I done so and so during uni because of all the free time I had' are lying. No time is free. Except for the occasional (ahem) night out of course.
6. Don't watch the movie instead of reading the book (it'll save the confusion of how Romeo can possibly be chased by helicopters and how guns were around in the 16th century).
7. Reading journal articles is a great way of falling asleep.
8. Attending lectures is another great way of falling asleep (don't worry- I attended every single one. I just slept a lot).
9. Often you can't get a computer in the library because everyone is so darn studious.
10. Going up to the 10th floor of the library to look at the view is a fun but completely futile use of spare time.
11. Beware of the potential serial killer in the lift on the way to said 10th floor.
12. After lectures you might think 'YEAH that was totally inspiring' and 'WTF was that about?!' simultaneously.
13. Mochas are always a good idea.
14. After reading Shakespeare, Milton, Eliot, Wordsworth and countless others, below is, to me, the single most amusing, inspiring, memorable and relatable piece of poetry I was introduced to in my course.
15. Finally, the most important lesson I've learned is to make sure you know what hall you're in for each exam BEFORE you go in to sit it. It'll save the panic when realising you're in Economics instead of English Lit after the exam has started- yep, I really did do this.
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